Genetics focus in four lectures
Demystifying ‘scary’ topic
Otago University professors and doctors will be in Alexandra next month to host genetics lectures. The lectures are part of the Southern Science Series, a nationwide lecture series run by Genetics Otago - Australasia’s largest multi-disciplinary group of geneticists - and will include discussions on the ethics of genetics technology, genetics and breast cancer and how honey bee genetics can improve health. Genetics Otago spokeswoman Sophia McKay said the lectures were aimed at the public to share the ‘‘ground-breaking research’’ being conducted at the university. People often thought the word genetics was scary and the lectures would discuss how it was used as the basis for a lot of research studies, Ms McKay said. A lecture would be held every Friday at the Alexandra Community Centre for four weeks, starting August 2. They will be kicked off by Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies associate professor Colin Gavaghan. Mr Gavaghan will discuss the law and ethics surrounding advances in genetics technology, including preimplantation genetic diagnosis – the diagnosis of a genetic condition before pregnancy. On August 9, the Centre for Translational Cancer’s Dr Anita Dunbier will talk about her work in breast cancer and the advances being made in personalised medicine. On August 16, zoology professor Graham Wallis will host a Why Genetics Matters lecture discussing the impact of genetics on our everyday lives from medicine, agriculture, conservation, systematics and evolution. Also on August 16, the Department of Anatomy’s Dr Ann Horsburgh will discuss southern African prehistory and history. On August 23 Genetics Otago director Peter Dearden will discuss why honey bee genetics might improve your health.
History: Cromwell’s Max Birtles and his wife Kathy, shortly after Mr Birtles was made an honorary life member of Old Cromwell Inc in recognition of his commitment to the establishment and growth of the group since 1987. Mr Birtles received the award during the official opening of the Cromwell Post and Telegraph Office. Mr Birtles was one of the original instigators who had the vision of rebuilding Old Cromwell Town in the 1980s. The opening of the Cromwell Post and Telegraph Office marked the completion of Old Cromwell Inc’s rebuilding project which has seen four buildings completed. Chairman Adrian Somerville said the group would now concentrate on the refurbishment of the former McNulty property which the Cromwell Community Board purchased last year to be used by Old Cromwell.